How to Survive Your First Bridal Appointment

It can be a daunting task. Choosing the perfect wedding gown, that is. After all, picking out your wedding dress is the second most important decision to picking out your fiancé! To help you survive this fun, but sometimes overwhelming task, we compiled a short list of tips to get you on your way.

Don’t worry, you can thank us later!

Photo by The Dressing Room West, Santa Fe

Tip #1

Don’t Get Frustrated with Your Consultant’s Nosiness

She’ll probably ask about your venue, the proposal, your theme, the colors you’ll be using and even your budget. Just keep your cool. Especially when it comes to your budget. They just want to make sure they’re on the same page as you. And they certainly don’t want you to waste 90 minutes of your precious planning time looking at gowns you hate.

Tip #2

Bring Photos

Your Pinterest wedding board (or boards, if you’re a crazy planner like we are) is quite handy! You can show your consultant gowns you like, or even gown silhouettes for a general idea. Photos will help your consultant see your vision and guide you to specific designers and dresses that will fit the bill!

Tip #3

Come Prepared

In this case, we’re not talking about your typical, “Make sure you bring a camera and a bottle of champagne!” No. What we’re talking about is underwear. Don’t get us wrong, going commando is a personal preference and we respect that. But if you don’t wear underwear, unfortunately, they can’t let you try on their gorgeous gowns.

Save yourself the headache and a trip to Victoria’s Secret. And just remember to wear full-coverage underwear to your first, second, third, fourth, and hundredth bridal appointment. We’re not joking about this.

Tip #3 1/2

Cover Up the Goods

Building on that thought, full-coverage underwear is always a very, very good idea. Consultants don’t necessarily mind what kind of underwear you wear, but they do want you to be comfortable. They will be in the dressing room with you to help you try on gowns and if you don’t want them to see you in anything revealing, take the necessary steps to cover up.

As always, you’re welcome to the disposable underwear they keep in store, though they aren’t very flattering! The upside, however, is that their disposable underwear option also saves yours from getting caught in the zipper, which tends to happen with lacy and stringy underwear. And they don’t want your expensive undies to get ripped any more than you do.

Tip #4

Leave the Entourage at Home

Because your wedding is going to be absolutely amazing, a lot of people will want to accompany you every step of the way. But it’s okay to say no! In fact, our tip number four is to actually limit the number of people you bring to your bridal appointment.

Not only can it get crowded in the store, but it can be really, really overwhelming for you as the bride (and your consultant!). Keeping your entourage to one or two trustworthy, honest and supportive peeps is the best thing to keep the experience fun and fruitful — as it should be.

Plus, if your loudly opinionated Aunt Betty insists on coming with you, simply make a separate appointment after you decide on a gown. That way, she’ll still get a sneak peak and feel included. You can even make 200 appointments just to try on the same gown, they don’t mind at all.

Tip #5


Our last tip probably should have been #1 because it is very, very important. And we get it, we really do. You don’t want to be bloated, or sluggish while you’re trying on gowns, but please trust us when we say you must eat. You’ll be in and out of heavy gowns very quickly and it can get pretty warm beneath all those layers of tulle. In fact, some consultants have actually had girls pass out mid-appointment, because all they had that day was a venti caramel macchiato. Don’t be that girl!

Photo by Bridal Elegance By Darlene, K. Mari Photography

To recap, here’s what you need for your appointment: food, underwear, your two best friends and an idea of what you want. Yes, that is in descending order of importance. In fact, if all you do is eat a full meal and wear underwear, you’ll probably have a pretty successful shopping trip.

Good luck! And make sure to try the amazing bridal shops we have right here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe!

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at:

Industrial Chic Wedding {Chris + Teresa}

On a cool October morning (typical weather for the balloon fiesta), Chris had a surprise up his sleeve to turn the page on the next chapter of his life. Aboard the gondola of a hot air balloon, October 7, 2014, Chris popped the question to his beautiful bride-to-be. As they floated above the city, Chris and Teresa were on cloud nine as they anticipated the adventure of their new life together waiting just beyond the horizon.
Taking place at The Yards, downtown Albuquerque, one of the coolest venues our city has to offer, Chris and Teresa became Mr. and Mrs. Chartrand on the anniversary of their romantic gondola engagement. As the warm New Mexico sunshine pierced through the stained-glass windows of the historic rail yards gone modern chapel, Chris and Teresa made it official at their industrial chic wedding, October 7, 2016.
Captured by Alicia Lucia Photography, everything from the invitations and twinkle lights to the favors and games were completely C + T. And before the night came to a close, they made sure to treat their guests to a perfect pairing of street tacos and local brew for a late night snack. With all the amazing details, words can’t express the industrial wedding of Chris and Theresa last fall. You will just have to get a taste of the Chartrand wedding for yourself!
Chris and Teresa’s wedding was the perfect combination of cozy meets industrial chic. Brides will totally jive with this wedding from the rail yard as their venue, to their rad music selections (including 500 Miles by Sleeping at Last, Una Palabra by Carlos Varela), the cozy details of all the different lounge areas, a late night taco truck and holy cow their cake! My goodness, that in itself was a work of art. So many exquisite yet personal details that had their personality and quirkiness written all over it! Over 90% of their guests flew in from all over the country to celebrate with them, and it couldn’t have been at a more spectacular time for them to experience the unique beauty our state has to offer! — Alicia Lucia Photography

Photos by Alicia Lucia Photography
Rugged Glam: it’s a little less sequins, a little more industrial scintillations. It’s new love dancing under an aged roof. It’s cozy meets quirky meets exquisite — and it’s never been done so well.
Congratulations, Chris and Teresa!
Meet the professionals who helped make their dream a reality:
Photographer: Alicia Lucia Photography | Wedding Planner: Alena Swanson | Video: Avista Video | Venue: The Yards | Makeup: Betty Rose by Alanna | Hair: Genica Lee | Catering: Black Iron Catoring Company | Favors and Baked Goods: Chocolate Dude | Veil: Forever Yours | Groom/Groomsmen Attire: Mr. Tux | Dress Designer: Pronovias | Dress store: Trudy’s Boutique | Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal | Officiant: Roy Ricci | Photo Booth: ShutterBooth | Flowers: Signature Sweets & Flowers | Cake: The Cake Boutique | Rentals: AA Events & Tents and Classic Party Rentals | Setup: ABQ Event Support
For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at:

Behind-the-Scenes: Diamond Dash Wedding Show

While most of us were still counting sheep the morning of the Diamond Dash Wedding Show (earlier this month), the Perfect Wedding Guide crew was busy with all the preparations by the time we rolled out of bed and shuffled our way to the kitchen for our morning java. Lucky for me, I had the great pleasure of joining my comrades later in the day for a behind-the-scenes look at our Diamond Dash Wedding Show. As you might imagine, setting up for a wedding show takes lots of hard work, but the PWG crew doesn’t mess around! To maintain the well-oiled machine of the Diamond Dash, it took countless cups of coffee to keep up with all its moving parts. By the end of the day, however, the caffeine hangover was definitely worth it!

It was such a pleasure to see and participate in all the action of the Diamond Dash. As the wedding show came underway, I got to mingle with happy brides-to-be and explore the various displays and vendors throughout the showroom. Among them were the gals from Pennysmiths Paper, who specialize in the most beautiful wedding stationery this side of the Mississippi! In addition, Charlotte’s Flowers was present with their elegant silk flower arrangements. At the same time, some lucky ladies were pampered by Bliss Salon & Spa. And who could forget the amazing fashion show by Bridal Elegance? Darlene’s dresses were absolutely breathtaking!

Pennysmiths Paper
Charlotte’s Flowers
Bliss Salon & Spa
Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Don’t miss out on our next wedding show, Bride’s Night Out, coming up this June at Hotel Andaluz!

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at:

Elegant Americana inspired shoot by Arielei Kinzer Photography

elegantIt’s America’s Birthday and we are celebrating in true PWG style with a stylized shoot that is ABSOLUTELY gleaming with patriotism +  rustic fierceness! It’s a given, anytime Arielei Kinzer is behind the camera you know pure perfection is sure to ensue and she delivered on that promise with this one. Y’all… scrolling through the images of this shoot seriously made my heart beat faster!  Here’s what Arielei had to say about bringing her vision for this stylized shoot to fruition:
 “The sun is bright, summer is in full force, and it’s time to break-out the pies and fireworks. Americana- that lovely red, white, and blue! It brings us all together to celebrate something we all share. It’s a uniting holiday, a holiday full of fun, and full of iconic patterns and pallets.
We love the classic blue and white farmhouse dinnerware,  the all-american pies with a modern twist (we made them mini and put them on a pie-bar), and the way this vintage hairstyle and red lipstick goes perfectly with patriotic elegance. All set against our beautiful Southwest background in Santa Fe, NM and topped with a faded, old flag (which by the way, makes the perfect wedding photo prop!)  Not to mention a bombshell blonde in a Justin Alexander wedding dress and some gorgeous calligraphy to tie it all together.
If you love the red, white, and navy, and you love a little classic meets farmhouse, ranch meets elegant, then this Americana wedding inspiration is perfect for you!”

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Final thoughts: Such thoughtful + classic elegance well represented by an amazing execution. We couldn’t be more in awe of all the professionals that pulled this stylized shoot full circle:

Venue: Falcon Ranch // Photography: Arielei Kinzer Photography // Wedding Planner: Magnolia Event Company // Flowers: Floriography Flowers // Dress: Borrowing Magnolia // Catering: American Pie Bakery // Calligraphy on pie flags: Ashley Rose Hamilton // Makeup Artist: Makeup Santa Fe // Hair: Mandy Salazar

We can’t thank you enough, Arielei for sharing with us this exclusive wedding inspiration!


For more on everything wedding + wedding planning, visit us at and as ALWAYS, much love being sent to you + yours!

2016 Bride’s Night Out {Re-living the Fun}

This year’s Bride’s Night Out was definitely an event to remember. When it comes to wedding planning, you want the best people on the job, so we connected you to local vendors who care. We loved hosting this event and seeing all of our brides and grooms having a crazy, fun time planning their perfect wedding. We couldn’t have made this event happen with out our vendors, sponsors, and our soon-to-be-married couples. We adore working with all of you and cannot wait to hang out with all of you again for next year’s Bride’s Night Out!

Much thanks to Hotel Andaluz and their staff for letting us use their gorgeous space! It is perfect for all things wedding!
Much thanks to Hotel Andaluz and their staff for letting us use their gorgeous space! It is perfect for all things wedding! (Via: Matt Blasing)
Gorgeous table décor by Sandia Casino & Resort
Gorgeous table décor by Isleta Resort and Casino
Gorgeous hairpiece by Bridal Elegance by Darlene!
Gorgeous hairpiece by Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Gorgeous Jewelry by Silpada Jewelry by Lisa Lipke...
Gorgeous Jewelry by Silpada Jewelry by Lisa Lipke…
Adorable wedding-themed berries at the Nature Pointe booth!
Adorable wedding-themed berries at the Nature Pointe booth!
Gorgeous flowers by Estella Floral Design
Gorgeous flowers by Estella Floral Design
Totally adoring this display by Dinner 4 Two
Totally adoring this display by Dinner 4 Two (Via: Matt Blasing)
Fantastic décor at the Strawberries and More booth
Charming setting by Classic Party Rentals
Charming setting by Classic Party Rentals

We loved this event so much. The relaxed vibes helped everyone unwind and enjoy each other, and we couldn’t have accomplished any of it without these vendors and sponsors:

Venue: Hotel Andaluz

Photography: Matt Blasing Photography

Videography: 2U Films

Linens: Classic Party Event + Tent Rentals

MC/DJ: Complete Weddings and Events 

For more wedding planning tips and inspiration, head on over to! Much love, xoxo- PWG

Be Unique! {Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses}

Everybody is looking for that little something that will make their wedding special and unique. Here at Perfect Wedding Guide, we think we have just the trend, and it just screams variety – mismatched bridesmaid dresses! We think it may be time to move away from the usual uniformity of your bridal party and embrace each girl’s unique style and flair. Whether you have a huge wedding or an intimate ceremony, this adorable idea is sure to make your big day different and extraordinary.  Here are a dozen bridal parties that totally rocked this trend for your viewing pleasure…

  1. Vintage Class
mm bd
via: Pinterest

2. Bohemian At Its Best

mm bd 2
Via: Pinterest

3. Fashion with Character

Beautiful fall colors!
Via: Pinterest

4. Elegant Neutral Palette

mm bd 3
via: Pinterest

5. Gorgeous Off-Whites

This bridal crew totally rocks these classic pastels and off-whites!
Via: Pinterest

6. The Holy Grail of Print!

Via: Pinterest

7. Fun, Casual, Nautical

These dresses give off a fun, nautical vibe...
Via: Pinterest


8. Variety in Bloom

Via: Pinterest

9. Bright, Bold, and Beautiful

Via: Pinterest

10. Flawless Coordination

Via: Pinterest

11. Gorgeous Texture

Via: Pinterest

12. Extraordinary Color

Via: Pinterest

We hope that now you have recognized the genius behind this trend. You will never forget your wedding with your bridal party bringing their individual beauty and character to it. Their personalities have contributed to your life and your relationship with your future spouse, so why not let their individuality shine through their dresses?

If you are looking for the perfect dresses for your wedding, we have some places for you to check out!

Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Brides by Demetrios

Irma’s Bridal

Laura Sheppherd Bridal

L. Thomas Custom Dress Design

Much love and inspiration from the PWG Team. For more wedding planing inspiration, visit us at!

Seeing NOAH’S Event Venue {Behind-the-Scenes Photoshoot}


The Perfect Wedding Guide team has been looking forward to the completion of the new NOAH’S Event Venue in anxious excitement, so when the construction crews cleared away, we made sure that we quickly scheduled an appointment to see the space. After all the waiting, we walked into NOAH’S and were completely blown away. The venue looked incredible and displayed a fresh and classy vibe. Between the beautiful modern color scheme and the gorgeous layout, we knew that the photo shoot we planned in the space was going to look heavenly.


A beautiful, modern design…

After a tour of the space, our model, Maura, got dressed and we started the shoot. We saw how flawlessly the venue catered to the wedding aesthetic as we snapped shots in the breathtaking, natural light.


The large windows featured NOAH'S ballroom give a fresh lighting concept.
The large windows featured in NOAH’S ballroom give a fresh lighting concept.
Beautiful arrangement by Black Swan Events
Beautiful arrangement by Black Swan Events


Throughout the shoot, we saw more and more why NOAH’S was the perfect venue for weddings. The Bridal Suite and Groom’s Room proved that this venue is exactly what you want.



This bridal suite is a dream complete with individual make-up mirrors and plenty of space to get ready for the big day.



The Groom’s Room, complete with pool, shuffleboard, a bar, and a gigantic flatscreen TV, is sure to keep the groomsmen entertained.


It was thrilling to see the completed NOAH’S Event Venue, and even more exciting to see how gorgeous it is. Maura looked as beautiful as could be in this stunning space, and we couldn’t be more excited to see how many happy couples say “I do” at this spectacular venue.





Be on the look out for the professional photos taken by Sandra Tafoya of Photographic Perspectives! They are going to look perfect.

Venue: NOAH’S Event Venue

Dress: Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Model: Maura Casados 

Flowers: Black Swan Events

For more wedding planning, resources and vendors, visit:!